Braves outperforming their payroll?

Second-baseman Jace Peterson qualifies as one of the real bargains on the Braves below-average payroll. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Second-baseman Jace Peterson qualifies as one of the real bargains on the Braves below-average payroll. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Braves entered this season ranked 23rd in the Majors in team payroll – extraordinarily penurious for them, especially given the fact that so much of that payroll was dead money, paid to players gone and better off forgotten.

Yet, here they are, into the second half of their schedule not exactly competitively destitute. They are getting solid, if unspectacular, returns for their salary dollars.

In fact, if only they determined the standings on a bottom-line business basis – say, payroll dollars per victory – the Braves would be even more in the mix in the National League East.

Leading the way at this point would be the Mets at $2.41 million per victory, followed by the Braves at $2.44 million per win.

But, of course, sports does not adhere to any normal business model. Thus, have the Nationals, with their exotic starting staff and their $165 million payroll taken their expected place atop the NL East. Even if each victory has come at a price of $3.58 million per.

And not a single fan in the nation’s capital will bemoan the cost inefficiencies. Why, that’s just business as usual in that city.

Currently, the young Houston Astros are getting the biggest bang for their payroll bucks (just $1.48 million per victory).

The deep-pocket Los Angeles Dodgers are paying dearly for their lead in the NL West ($5.93 million per victory).

We like to celebrate the smaller market/smaller spending franchises when they surprisingly contend. But as is so often the case, if you throw enough money at a season, eventually there will be a postseason payoff.

Presumably the Braves and their formless owners, Liberty Media, will get into the nine-figure payroll business again, in time to draw the curious to the new Cobb stadium.

In the meantime, they at least can be content with the knowledge that they are pretty much getting what they paid for.

Reader Comments 0

16 comments
Rory_Bellows
Rory_Bellows

I don't get the excess love for the Braves by this publication......Even worse with O'Brien......Every one of his blogs could be sucking sounds because of his love for everything Braves. 


I don't mind the optimism, but at some point, to be professionals, the AJC has to issue some critique. 

Blitz12003
Blitz12003

That is at best a backhanded compliment. They are paying for a poor team and get one that is just mediocre so we should be happy about that?

Have the Braves give me a call when they decide to spend the money to put a contender on the field. I will consider giving them some of my money at that time..... Till then, can watch contending franchises every night on the tube.

BiCurious_Barack
BiCurious_Barack


"The AJC is outperforming its payroll."




- Said No One,  EVER




DrPhill
DrPhill

The Braves are essentially a AAA team with a AAA manager, playing slightly above their talent level. Given the disparity of ticket and hot dog prices, I'll just attend AAA games.

Ersatz
Ersatz

The payroll at the 29-story Applebee's in barvesworld is getting bigger, but only because the barves front office hogs and cobb political fat cats are keeping the bartender busy sliding free brewskis, tater skins, and babyback ribs down the bar, all paid in full by cobb taxpayers.  If they run low on cash, all of the politically-connected billionaires will just slide a few more suitcases of cobb taxpayer cash under the table, while everyone enjoys another barves shutout loss.

FarTrain
FarTrain

Here's a better way to say it: The Atlanta Braves are so far living down to the low expectations of their totally inept and "in-way-over-his-head" manager!

Savdon
Savdon

@FarTrain Dumbass.  Expect Gonzalez to be MOY when it's all said and done.

LegalBeagle3
LegalBeagle3

@UWreckMeBaby @Savdon @FarTrain This boob can't even string a sentence together, or express a thought that doesn't start with "you know what..." followed by some bad cliche or nonsense "Freddiism" like "he's a sweater."  Yet somehow sheeple want to praise him as a MOY candidate?!  LOL!! It's no wonder why Atl sports suck..people not only accept sub-medicority, they praise it!  

RonMexico
RonMexico

@FarTrain That would be a really witty and astute observation if it were at all true. The fact that the Braves aren't 10 games under .500 (where they realistically should be with this roster) is a testament to the fact that Fredi Gonzalez knows exactly what he's doing. The only one in over his head here is you.

tmc
tmc

The Braves have been spending in the middle of the league for decades. They act as if they are Kansas City for god's sake. Their TV market is a top 7 market in the country and if their land mass area of their revenue market isn't the largest east of the mississippi river... then it's got to be in the top 2.

The team has not been spending like other top 10 or even top 15 market clubs for many, many years. And the minute they make a horrible contract extension (Uggla) and an absolutely horrendous free agent signing (BJ Upton), they flip out and act as if the world is upside down and think they have to rebuild a depleted minor league system, while abondoning the major league club.

It infuriates me as a long time Braves fans to see front office act as if they are a mid-range club in the National League, much leass the Major Leagues. AND get out spent by several small market clubs year in and year out.

I look forward to the move to Cobb County for two major reasons. One, the additional revenue outlets that just might allow the Braves to increase their spending into a respectable position. And two, it means we are much closer to having Shuerholz & Cox officially retiring from the decision making process. Because they are not going anywhere until they can receive every accolade possible for the first couple years after the move. Until then, the team will continue to underspend and sell the same "limitations" it has always sold to it's fans... who actually believe what the Braves brass has been spewing for years.

As a fan I root for the team and players, but i dispise the front office...

tmc
tmc

The Braves have been spending in the middle of the league for decades. They act as if they are Kansas City for god's sake. Their TV market is a top 7 market in the country and if their land mass area of their revenue market isn't the largest east of the mississippi river... then it's got to be in the top 2.

The team has not been spending like other top 10 or eve 15 market clubs for many, many years. And the minute they make a horrible contract extension (Uggla) and absolutely horrendous free agent singing (BJ Upton), they flip out and act as if the world is upside down think they have to rebuild a depleted minor league system. 

It infuriates me as a long time Braves fans to see front office act as if they are mid-range club in the National League, much leass the Major Leagues. AND get out spent by several small market clubs year in and year out.

I look forward to the move to Cobb County for two major reasons. One, the additional revenue outlets that just might allow the Braves to increase their spending into a respectable position. And two, it means we are much closer to having Shuerholz & Cox officially retiring from the decision making process. Because they are not going anywhere until they can receive every accolade possible for the first couple years after the move. Until then, the team will continue to underspend and sell the same "limitations" it has always sold to it's fans... who actually believe what the Braves brass has been spewing for years.